Curry chops and curry sauce


Curry chops and curry sauce

Goat meat is popular worldwide, and with good reason, because it's extremely healthy and full of flavour. But perhaps you should hide the nanny's meat behind a curry sauce, warns EMILIA SMUTS.


ONE of my sisters married an Englishman. We call him “Clean Brother". Flippie is crazy about her, as well as about Brown Swiss cattle, motorbikes and goats.

On a farm, however, goats are not only the beginning of trouble but also its fulfilment

Goats are clever animals with an insatiable desire and ability to find out what is happening on the other side of the fence. And also beyond the next fence … and so on, until they reach the vegetable garden and the juicy young things that are just starting to raise their heads. Which they devour within seconds, regardless of origin. Also the tomatoes, the seeds of which were brought with great effort from Sicily.

Anyway, one day something happened to one of Clean Brother's most beautiful nanny goats and her short, happy life ended in neat plastic bags in the freezer. When we visited the farm during the last long holiday, we decided one fine summer evening to have a braai and I was pleased as punch when my elder sister, Julia, told me about the goat lying blissfully in waiting for such an opportunity.

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Just let me explain to readers who are shuddering at the thought that goat is probably the meat that is eaten the most in the world. And with good reason, because it's extremely healthy and full of flavour. The reason we see so little of it on our shelves is that most of it is exported. But it's worth looking for — you'll mostly find it at butchers in the countryside.

My mother believed that goat meat and mutton (not lamb) make the best kebabs. I get nostalgic thinking about the delicious kebabs that were sold at the meat table at thanksgivings and church bazaars in my childhood and grilled at every community gathering — from farmers' associations to fruit festivals and funerals. The sauce was always that of a boerekerrie: golden yellow, sweet and sharp tasting, and a little hot to balance the flavour.

However, despite a thorough search through my mother's recipe library and notes, I couldn't find a kebab recipe. Then I called Elsabé Greeff to find out if aunt Veronica, her mother-in-law and my mother's peer, had perhaps left a recipe. Elsabé is a theatre sister and someone you can ask for just about anything. “Veronica wasn't fond of kebabs," she told me, “but in Marydale, where I come from, the people make wonderful curry chops." Moments later, Elsabé's recipe for curry chops buzzed through on my phone. She probably told the surgeon to wait a bit with the next incision, she had something to attend to quickly.

Marydale. When I searched for the town on a map, it immediately reminded me of the start of the Huppelkind books: In die middel van die wêreld, in die middel van die vlei… Because Marydale is in the middle of the country, between a landscape full of pans, a little south of the Boegoeberg Dam, and neighbouring places with names that make you feel homesick for something you can't put your finger on: Draghoender, Putsonderwater,  Stillerus, Geselskap. And all very much goat country.    

But I digress. We could no longer make curry chops for our summer braai because they have to be marinated for a day or three. So Julia marinated the beautiful red meat with rosemary, olive oil, a dash of muscadel and karoobossie salt. Lovely. And we had a wonderful braai and a nice meal: cheerful, sociable and so on. I noticed immediately that the chops tasted like goat, but the sisters and I kept silent as the grave because it was Christmas and you don't want to upset people.

But that goat wouldn't stay behind the fence. During the next lunch we were enjoying the delicious leftovers when someone innocently asked: “Are these chops lamb or mutton?" We glanced at each other and when the silence became too heavy, Julia said: “Neither of them."

“Well, what is it?”

“Goat's meat.”

With that, Clean Brother jumped straight up into the air, like someone who has stepped on a snake, and asked in a high-pitched voice: “Which goat's meat?" 

“That nanny goat.” Clean Brother was not at all amused and firmly returned the chop on his plate to the serving bowl. And so I learned my lesson: next time, hide the nanny goat's meat behind a curry sauce so you are not tempted to reveal the truth; and so that she and her boss can rest in peace.

I know all the talk about curry and kebabs is going to make people crave kebabs. But it's a bit of an operation, unless you have a good butcher who will cut the lamb shoulder or leg of goat into cubes and thread it on skewers. Then all you have to do is make the sauce and cover the kebabs in it.

But as Elsabé says, curry chops are a different kettle of fish. The meat marinates for three days, so it's ideal for slightly tougher meat that will benefit from this treatment.

Elsabé's recipe was as unusual as she is. Because it's enough for the golf club's fundraiser, the street barbecue, or for families who are struggling and can't remember the last time they enjoyed a piece of real meat.

Curry chops


  • 25 kg meat, or 120-150 kebabs
  • 3 kg onions halved and cut in rings
  • 1 c cooking oil
  • 2 bottles (750 ml each) vinegar
  • 2 bottles (750 ml each) water
  • 2 bottles (470 g each) chutney
  • 4 c sugar
  • 1 c salt
  • 8 full tbsp curry powder 
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 full tbsp braai seasoning 
  • 1 c apricot jam
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 c milk


1. Fry the onions in the cooking oil until brown. Then add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 10 minutes.

2. Add 2 c boiling milk and cook for 5 minutes longer. Let the sauce cool well.  

3. Pack meat in layers and cover with sauce or string on skewers and pour the sauce over. Leave to marinate for at least 2-3 days in the fridge.

But if you are only four souls who have to eat and these amounts are making you sweat, take heart, here is beautiful Katie Klue from Klaarstroom's curry sauce.


Katie’s curry sauce

(enough for 2 kg meat)

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 tbsp curry 
  • 4 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • chilli flakes to taste
  • 2 tbsp cornflour, dissolved in a little cold water
  • ½ c sugar 
  • 150 ml apricot jam
  • 150 ml chutney
  • ½ c Worcester sauce
  • 375 ml vinegar (or more to taste)
  • 375 ml water
  • salt and pepper to taste


1. Fry the onions until soft in a little oil. Add the curry, turmeric and cumin and fry for another short while to develop the flavour.  

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 5-10 minutes. Taste if the sauce is to your liking and adjust it if you want.

3. Allow to cool and pack the meat in the sauce. Marinate for 2 days in the fridge. This is a generous amount of sauce and the leftovers freeze well.

Katie uses the same sauce for a nice pot of curry with meat and vegetables, to which she adds a cinnamon stick and three star anise pods. When I recently used the broth for a vegetable curry with rice, the only change I made was to reduce the sweetness and vinegar and replace the water with a can of coconut milk. It was delicious with Langverwagt's rice.

Langverwagt’s rice

  • 2 c fragrant rice, cooked
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves, stripped of the stem, or a bag of dried curry leaves, soaked in water until soft.


1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the mustard seeds.

2. Add the curry leaves as soon as the mustard starts to shoot and fry for a minute until fragrant. The fresh leaves will turn bright green and crisp.

3. Pour the hot rice back into the pot and stir with a fork.

I still feel sorry for Clean Brother. Because although I'm a big supporter of knowing where your meat comes from, the meat from your pet goat may be taking the principle a little too far.

My Beloved tells me about a city woman he knew who visited the farm after months and asked what had become of her pet lamb. When she heard he had been sent to the abattoir, she pursed her lips and didn't eat mutton for six months.


♦ VWB ♦

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